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Lebanese gets 12 years in jail for FARC conspiracy

  • A rebel of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, signals a victory sign after being captured by army, along with one other rebel, in Neiva, Colombia, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/William Fernando Martinez)

WASHINGTON: A US federal court sentenced a Lebanese man to 12 years in prison Thursday for conspiring to provide Colombia's leftist FARC rebels with military-grade weapons in exchange for over a ton of cocaine.

Jamal Yousef, 54, pleaded guilty in May to one count of providing material support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Latin America's oldest insurgent group.

"Jamal Yousef was ready, willing and able to provide an arsenal of weapons and explosives to people he believed to be part of a terrorist organization, dedicated, in part, to killing Americans," Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

From July 2008 to July 2009, Yousef conspired with others to provide AR-15 and M-16 assault rifles, M-60 machine guns, C-4 explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and other military equipment to US Drug Enforcement Administration agents posing as FARC representatives, court documents showed.

Yousef claimed the items had been stolen from US forces in Iraq.

He was arrested in Honduras in August 2009 and later extradited to the Southern District of New York for trial.

 
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